“It’s already tragic enough to be ‘ordained’ here, and now their corpses aren’t even…”
The red-faced cultivator had only finished mumbling halfway when one of his Martial Brothers elbowed him.
Wu Xingxue glanced at them, then turned his head over to the commoners.
Their expressions were extremely unpleasant, staring at the talisman in Xiao Fuxuan’s hand and looking like they were in a daze.
One of them swayed incessantly, unable to even stand steadily on his feet.
He probably wanted to bend down to recover a bit, but when he did so, the coat was pressed against him and the pungent smell of incense permeated the air again.
The cultivation disciples immediately rushed to him and held him up.
One of the disciples said, “My Martial Brother has a big mouth and he talks nonsense all the time.” They were extremely afraid that the smell of incense would be too strong and would draw in some unpleasant beings.
He quickly continued, “Actually, things are not that bad.
He said maybe several more times, but still couldn’t come up with anything.
He looked over with a face pleading for help, and his face was already bright red from the distress.
Wu Xingxue thought, “What are you looking at me for I can’t ‘maybe’ out anything good.
If I open my mouth to speak, my words might be even more frightening than your Martial Brother’s.”
He was silent for a moment, then poked Xiao Fuxuan.
Only after he poked did he realize that perhaps he was doing this motion a bit too naturally.
Xiao Fuxuan, who was examining the talisman, paused, then glanced at the finger that had poked him.
Then, he turned his head to look towards those cultivation disciples who were pleading for help.
The words “please help, say something and change the subject or something, please help us out here” were written clearly on their faces.
Hence, the Celestial Immortal finally opened his golden mouth.
He asked the woman, “What are your esteemed daughters’ names and surnames”
Wu Xingxue: “……”
To elaborate on his words, he basically meant.
Your two daughters probably met the same end as this Zhao Qinglai.
They are probably also in some little boy or girl statue with their names stuck on the pedestal.
Tell us their names and we can look for them.
Those commoners did drag the cultivation disciples here for this purpose, so his words weren’t wrong…
But perhaps this golden mouth should stay shut next time.
Wu Xingxue thought in his head.
The little disciple who had pleaded for help collapsed on the spot, his face even turning green.
That woman was in a worse state.
Stumbling, she propped herself against the wall.
Her expression was completely blank, and her whole body was shaking uncontrollably.
The other two little disciples immediately came forward, lightly patting her on the back.
She couldn’t even bear these light pats, as she collapsed more with each pat.
Bent at the waist, she trembled for a long while, and then lifted her head to look towards Xiao Fuxuan.
She mumbled in a hoarse voice, “My two little girls are still young… they’re called… they’re called…”
After choking up for a long time, she finally let out two nicknames, “They’re called A-Yuan and A-Tai.”
“Wait, wait for me.”
“Wait for me…”
The woman softly repeated this many times, and even when her voice no longer sounded, her lips were still moving.
No one knows whether he was trying to comfort the souls of her two daughters or if she was trying to comfort herself.
Now that everyone had the names, they stopped avoiding the subject and straightforwardly started searching along the hole-ridden rock walls.
With this search, they found that the catacomb didn’t only consist of this one area, it was actually very long.
It was only that, of the occasional twists and turns of the cave, the light from the oil lamps inside the holes would be hidden behind the turns.
At first glance, it seemed as if the cave had ended there.
But that wasn’t the case.
The catacomb was constructed along the valley and was extremely long, with frequent paths that split off from the main passageway.
It was a treacherous trek to get there.
After turning a few corners, the crowd had all slightly lost their sense of direction.
The cultivation disciples’ compasses were completely useless here, and after crossing a bunch of cross sections, they suddenly realized that they had already stopped bothering with their compasses and were just following Xiao Fuxuan.
But even Xiao Fuxuan had to stop for a few moments on several fork roads.
Wu Xingxue saw the way he moved and finally asked, “Have you been here before”
Xiao Fuxuan gave an “mm” as a reply and stopped in his steps.
His long fingers gently pressed the stone walls, and with a little force, a quake sent rocks flying down.
“Then how come you don’t know the way”
Xiao Fuxuan probed a finger into a rock crack.
His downcast eyes lightly blinked, and then he replied, “I didn’t come inside.”
“Didn’t come inside” Wu Xingxue was a little surprised, “Why not”
The entire boulder blocking the hole was swept away with two fingers, crashing to the ground with a roaring boom, sending up a cloud of gray dust.
Wu Xingxue squinted his eyes in the dust and heard Xiao Fuxuan’s deep voice, “I didn’t want to.”
An image suddenly flashed through his mind: it was a cold night in the Valley of Great Sorrow, permeated with dust and fog.
There was also a tall silhouette standing in the fog, gazing at the enormous valley from across a long suspension bridge.
Wu Xingxue was stunned.
He should have seen such a scene before, but no matter how hard he tried to recall, he couldn’t recall it clearly.
When he returned to his senses, he heard those few cultivation disciples shout, “Another little boy statue!”
On their way there, they found two other little boy and girl statues.
They were both empty, and their insides were covered in dried blood.
They also had talismans stuck on them, and they also wrote, “This worships the Immortal Envoy.”
One was named Liu Zhi, and the other was named Liu Mei.
The names sounded like one was male and the other female, but their bodies were also nowhere to be found.
Including Zhao Qinglai from the beginning, this was already the fourth little statue.
They had already formed a habit, subconsciously slashing at the statue with a sword.
The little boy statue cracked into pieces…
And a person was revealed.
It was a grown man, but he was folded in a manner that seemed as if all his bones were broken.
His head was cut off from his neck and was resting on his lap.
The cultivation disciples were so startled that they hastily retreated several meters, pressing their backs against the rock wall on the other end of the tunnel.
After a while, they murmured, “Why is this body still here Has it turned into a sinister being yet “
They were going to poke at it with their swords, just to see Yi Wusheng press the back of his finger against that cut-off head and shake his head.
Holding his paper, he said, “It’s okay, you can come over.”
Wu Xingxue scanned the appearance of that corpse.
He made a guess that this was the lumberjack who was the first one to be ordained.
Sure enough, the talisman attached to the statue had the lumberjack’s name on it, and it was written very crookedly.
Before, they had only heard rumors and had never seen any of the victims themselves.
But now that the lumberjack from the rumor was sitting cross-legged right in front of them, it made them feel both extremely frightened and a little uncomfortable.
The commoners didn’t even dare to come over at all, huddling together far away in the dark.
The cultivation disciples looked at that woodcutter with unbearable expressions, but they couldn’t just let him just sit here in the open.
Thus, they dug out a talisman and carefully placed it on his forehead to seal him, and then also made a mark.
“Let’s find the rest first and then come back.”
They continued to walk deeper into the catacomb along the rock wall, pondering nonstop as they walked.
“How come the first three people we found in the statues were all gone, yet this one is still here”
“Maybe because the lumberjack’s incident happened earlier than theirs.”
“Since the incident happened early, his soul had been almost completely exhausted, making him unable to move after being sealed in the stone statue.
As for those whose incidents happened later, some of their souls still remained, so they couldn’t be sealed.
As for what they would do if they couldn’t be sealed, that went without saying—
They might be extremely hungry, so they went to search for food.
Or, they might be unwilling to admit that they had died, so they went to search for someone to replace them.
Both were possible.
The oil lamps in the catacomb weren’t stable, sometimes bright and sometimes dim.
Perhaps those corpses that had been chopped up into pieces were creeping in some corner, waiting for living people to come.
Picturing this, even people who knew how to use celestial powers would tremble with fear.
Before long, they came across another little girl statue.
The appearance of this little girl statue was mottled, as it had lost some of its colors.
At first glance, half of its lips seemed to be smiling, the other half crying.
With the trauma of the previous statue in mind, they hesitated, not daring to use their swords.
Then, a blast of violent wind brushed past them, and immediately afterward, they heard the crisp noise of cracking sounds: the little girl statue shattered without anyone even approaching it.1 This time, the little girl statue was still empty, with no one inside.
There were only blood and claw marks, as if the person who had been sealed inside had once forcefully scratched at the clay, attempting to escape…
Looking again at the shards covering the ground, this meant… It succeeded in escaping.
The talisman within the shards suddenly flew out with a swish, falling between Xiao Fuxuan’s fingers.
He spread out the paper and read out what was written, “This worships Immortal Envoy Gao’e.”
“Gao’e” The disciples muttered incessantly.
Wu Xingxue saw that one of them had a very troubled face, so he asked, “What’s the matter Why the bitter look”
That little disciple recited this name to himself a couple more times, then he shook his head, “I was just thinking of which family this one is from.
I’ve heard of this name before, but I don’t think it was from my elder Martial Siblings.
I can’t remember, I’ve heard too many names from victims’ family members recently, I’ve already got them all mixed up.”
When he said that there were too many victims’ family members, the disciples glanced towards Xiao Fuxuan.
It seemed that they wanted to ask something, but they only looked and didn’t move.
They then turned their heads to Yi Wusheng, who looked more gentle and kind, and said “Senior, since you know the history of these spirit-raising talismans as well as how to use them, then do you know how many little boy and girl statues are needed to actually bring a divine statue to life”
“Don’t believe that making a divine statue come alive is real, it’s just a false rumor.” Yi Wusheng said, “In the past hundred years, I’ve never heard of anyone succeeding in this.”
Actually, calling it a summoning was also not quite correct.
In essence, the array gave the divine statue a touch of spirit, and then, using the divine statue, the person doing the summoning could transmit what they wanted to say to the actual immortal in the Immortal Capital.
Whether or not the immortal heard, it was another story altogether.
This was an array that regular sects didn’t really know how to use, and they treated these sayings as more of a folktale.
When Yi Wusheng was still a teenager, he happened to like to listen to these sorts of common folk tales.
Although they were crude and fragmented, they were still very interesting, and he remembered almost all of the ones he had heard.
But he never thought that one day, he’d encounter those folk tales in such a fashion.
After a moment of silence, he replied, “It should be thirty-three little boys and girls.”
The disciples nodded.
“Then that’s right,”
“If I remember correctly, it also happens to be thirty-three families who were ordained.
Is that right, Martial Brother”
Including what happened today, it is exactly thirty-three.”
“Exactly thirty-three families”
Wu Xingxue suddenly spoke, “Maybe think a little harder Maybe you miscounted”
The cultivation disciple was stunned, then his face turned red, “Senior, please stop teasing us, it’s only thirty-three altogether.
How can we count wrong”
“Then that’s wrong,” said Wu Xingxue, “One of the families had two people, so won’t thirty-three families make a total of thirty-four people”
After being stunned for a moment, the disciples suddenly realized.
The family that had brought them to the Valley of Great Sorrow had lost two little girls, A-Yuan and A-Tai.
If you count them, then there was an extra person.
If there were fewer, then one could say that there would be more victims in the future.
But now there was one extra, could the array still work
“Besides, why would there be an extra person”
“Did we overcount”
That little disciple wanted to ask those commoners, but when he turned his head, he found that that woman was standing extremely close behind him.
Her pitch-black eyes were looking at him indistinctly.
The disciple suddenly remembered and shouted, “Gao’e!”
He finally remembered; he hadn’t heard the name “Gao’e” from his Martial Siblings, but it was this woman who had said it when she introduced herself to them.
She had said that her two daughters were ordained and had entered the Valley of Great Sorrow, and she wanted their help to go to the valley to look for them.
What if the people who were ordained were never those two daughters to begin with
What if… it was herself
Then with the thirty-three families, the numbers all add up!
Immediately afterward, he then remembered that there were a total of four little boy and girl statues that were empty.
Looking at the names, they were two men and two women.
And the commoners who came with them to the valley also happened to be four people, two men and two women!
When Gao’e smiled at him, her pitch-black eyes suddenly curved into crescents, and her mouth emerged from beneath those thick layers of cloth.
It was also a pitch-black crescent.
The hairs on the little disciple’s body stood up on end as his sword shot outwards.
In a split second, the thick scarf wrapped around Gao’e’s neck unraveled, revealing the word on her neck.
That neck had been cut through along the sternum, and only a tiny bit of skin held her head and neck together.
When she moved, her head wobbled as if about to fall.
The little disciples suddenly understood why these commoners were all wrapped in thick coats and why their hands and feet were also tied up so tightly.
It was because they would fall apart if they didn’t do so…
Maybe because they felt like they couldn’t keep the act up any longer, those four commoners stopped pretending and each picked a person to pounce on.
Of the five people they chose, three were those cultivation disciples, and the remaining one surged towards the other side.
When Wu Xingxue felt the breath behind him, he sighed softly, thinking, “You sure know how to choose.
He had already lifted his finger, but when he turned his head, he met Xiao Fuxuan’s eyes.
Wu Xingxue: “……”
In the next second, the Zhaoye City Lord, who had just killed a whole pile of yin beings, lowered his hand, and moved to behind Xiao Fuxuan’s back with a turn of his feet.
With a finger against the immortal’s back, he pushed him forward a step, saying, “Immortal, help, I’m scared.”
Xiao Fuxuan: “……”
Ning Huaishan and Fang Chu: “……………………………………”
Believe it or not, we’re even more afraid.